Oh the Holidays

Yep, once again I fell wayyyyyyy behind on posting here. My life has been a huge roller coaster most of this year so please excuse my absence. So, the holidays…fun, stressful, and hectic. The latter two are really not so great for lupus now are they? I made it through with only one meltdown which really is nothing so brag about though I think I have most of the plan down pat to avoid such things next year.

Thanksgiving Week and Black Friday – shop online! I got all but 2 gifts done from the comfort of my own home that week. The other 2 I had to actually go buy but not until just about a week ago. Seriously, online shopping = best shopping ever for sick people (or really any people)

Wrapping – start out slow way ahead of time. All my gifts were wrapped by 2 weeks before Christmas and I didn’t have a single swollen finger or knees. Arthritis makes sitting on the floor wrapping pretty difficult sometimes. Just do 1 or 2 gifts a day and you should be fine. You’ll be happy you did this.

Decorating – the same as for wrapping. Slow and steady wins the race, there’s no rush so just give yourself time.

Food – cut down on the sodium and sugar beforehand. You know you’re going to be eating a lot of unhealthy things. If you’re already feeling crappy, flarey, whatever, try not having so much of those yummy things before the holiday dinners. Especially sodium if you’re on prednisone, no one wants to look like a blowfish in a holiday picture.

After all the hub bub is over, take a few days and relax. Cleaning can wait (except, you know, dishes. You might want to clean those so you don’t get gnats or whatever.) Play with your new “toys” and just veg out. Then when you have energy you’re ready to start cleaning. Just take it one room or one half a room at a time with a little break in between. Hopefully, that will help!

I know this is a little late for this holiday season but like I said, these are things I learned this year and now I’ll be ready and raring to g next year. Happy Holidays and a Happy New Year! 

 

~Danielle

Published in: on December 28, 2013 at 4:01 pm  Leave a Comment  
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A fabulous feast

I know posts have been getting farther apart and I apologize for that, my health has just been taking hit after hit. That along with getting ready for finals has left very little time for me to write. Even though it’s a little late, I thought I’d share the recipes I used on Thanksgiving this year. It was the first year I cooked almost the entire feast by myself so I found/created some recipes that were easy to do even with the extreme fatigue and achy joints I had. Most of them can be made by just washing/rinsing one mixing bowl and using that over and over. It makes for a much easier clean up. My plan is to use them year round because they can easily be transferred to other meats and veggies and I hope you enjoy them!

Thanksgiving Dinner

The end result

Slow Cooked Turkey Breast

This is one I’m hoping to try on either a roast chicken or chicken breasts soon. I also think it’ll go really well on certain fish like salmon and maybe flounder. This is made in a slow cooker (if it wasn’t obvious by the title haha) which is an amazing piece of kitchen equipment all lupies – and people short on time – should have.

Ingredients

  • 1 whole bone-in turkey breast, about 6 pounds
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons turmeric
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh or dried rosemary leaves
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh or dried thyme leaves
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt (or less if you’re on prednisone of course)
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 can chicken broth (or any broth you’d like)
  • Mixed chopped veggies – frozen or fresh (optional)
  1. Mix all the dry herbs together. Stir in olive oil and lemon juice until it makes a paste. Using your fingers, rub the mixture under the skin of the turkey as much as you can. Take the rest and rub it on the outside. I suggest doing this part the night before, putting the turkey in the removable pot and covering it with foil in the fridge but you don’t have too.
  2. The next morning, put the turkey in the slow cooker and slowly pour the can broth in around it. Throw in some chopped veggies. (If they’re fresh they can be chopped the night before, if frozen just toss as many as you’d like in for extra flavor.) Set it on high for 1 hour then low for 6-7 hours until fully cooked. I read that for chicken it’s 1 hour on high and 8-9 hours on low. A meat thermometer is always helpful.
  3. Take out, carve and serve! Mixing some of the stock in with canned gravy makes a quick and delicious topping. 🙂

Lemon Garlicky Spinach

This can be done with any veggies you like, the ones I used just happened to be what we eat most often.

Ingredients

  • Fresh or frozen spinach (1 bag or bundle)
  • Half a red pepper (roasted red peppers are very good too)
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 2-3 tablespoons white onion
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  1. Wash and chop the spinach or if it’s frozen set aside.
  2. Chop the red pepper, onion, and garlic. Mix together.
  3. Heat the olive oil in a pan on low for 2-3 minutes, toss the spinach in. If it’s frozen be careful it doesn’t pop and splatter on you. Cook the spinach for 2-3 minutes.
  4. Toss in the rest of the veggies and cook until everything is tender. It took me about 10-15 minutes.
  5. Serve hot and add salt and pepper to taste!

Mashed Sweet Potatoes

This one is slightly hard to make and is easier if you have someone help with the peeling. My boyfriend peeled and chopped the potatoes for me.

Ingredients

  • 2-3 medium sweet potatoes
  • 1/4 cup sour cream (or 1/4 cup milk and about 1 tablespoon of butter)
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  1. Set a pot of water boiling.
  2. Peel, wash, and chop the sweet potatoes into cubes.
  3. Put in boiling water for about 40-50 minutes until soft.
  4. Drain and pour in a mixing bowl. With an electric hand mixer, mix in the sour cream and garlic powder until smooth. You can substitute milk and butter for sour cream as well and add more or less garlic if you’d like.
  5. Serve with gravy and voilà!

Easy Oreo Pie

I’m pretty sure I learned this when I was little and it’s the easiest pie ever to make. It’s become a Thanksgiving tradition but it’s definitely good all year round. I also use the same bowl which makes much less of a mess.

Easy Oreo Pie

Doesn't it look yummy?

Ingredients

  • Chocolate pie crust, Oreo is the best kind
  • 1 box Jello Vanilla Pudding
  • 1 box Jello Fudge Pudding
  • 4 cups of milk
  • 1 package cool whip
  • 4-5 Oreos
  1. In a mixing bowl, make Vanilla Jello first with 2 cups cold milk (use package instructions basically). Whisk until it’s slightly thickened. Pour into the crust until it comes slightly up over the mid-line. Pour the rest in a tupperware for a treat later. Let sit for 5 minutes.
  2. In the same bowl, make the Fudge Jello with 2 cups cold milk. Whisk until slightly thickened and pour evenly over the vanilla pudding. Pour the rest into another tupperware.
  3. Place plastic lid back over the pie and place in the fridge for 2 hours.
  4. Take out and cover evenly with a layer of Cool Whip or your favorite whipped cream.
  5. Place 4-5 oreos in a plastic bag and smash them either with your hands or something like a jar. Since my hands bother me, when I do it I use a jar of olives.
  6. Sprinkle oreo crumbles on top and enjoy!

Bread and Stuffing

Making bread by hand is extremely difficult in the first place and even harder when your hands don’t have much strength left or hurt. This year, I bought a 1 hour bread mix – Herb Bread – and it came out great! Same with stuffing, good old Stove Top works and keeps you wearing yourself out.

That was my entire Thanksgiving meal and it came out fabulous if I do say so myself haha. At the end of the day, I wasn’t completely exhausted and was able to have a fun night. Let me know how these work out for you guys!

Published in: on December 1, 2011 at 9:48 pm  Comments (3)  
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